It’s been a LONG time since I last took a look at another online savings account offering because quite frankly, they are literally all the same to me. After all, practically every option offers the usual – transfer by ACH, FDIC insurance, better than traditional savings account but still only modest rates etc.
But I’ve been getting a few email questions about CIT Bank lately on whether they are related to Citibank. So let me clear this up. CIT Bank has nothing to do with Citibank. CIT Bank is owned by CIT Group and Citibank is owned by Citigroup (I know, this is clear as mud so let me explain further). Both parent companies trade on the New York Stock Exchange, but CIT Bank has a ticket symbol of CIT and Citigroup has a ticket symbol of C. They are two separate institutions.
Click here to sign up for a CIT Bank account.
Though you may not have heard of CIT before, they’ve actually been around since 1908, when Henry Ittleson founded the company to provide financing for businesses in St. Louis. Through steadied growth and solid business practices one century later, CIT Group is now a global operation with offices in Asia, Europe, Latin America, and North America (both Canada and the United States) helping clients in more than 30 industries. With $33 billion in finance and leasing assets primarily focusing on small and medium sized businesses, the CIT Group is a decent sized operation.
Is My Money Safe?
There’s really only one thing you need to care about when it comes to your protection, which is whether the bank is a member of FDIC. Fortunately, a quick look shows that CIT Bank has an active membership since October 20, 2000 with FDIC using certificate number: 35575. This means that each depositor is insured to at least $250,000, making your money pretty safe.
You may also be pleased to know that CIT is a Small Business Administration (SBA) Preferred Lender, which should give you confidence that it’s an institution that has traditionally done the right thing.
Most banks have a no fee policy, which means no account maintenance fee and closure fees. But what I like about CIT Bank is that they extend the idea to have no fees for requesting a check to be mailed out to you either. In addition, incoming wire transfers are free for all members, and outgoing wires are also free if your daily balance is $25,000 or higher ($10 otherwise). I know I could use this feature since I wire money about 4-5 times a year, which costs $40 a piece at my current bank.
Who Cares if Rates are So Low?
This is a legitimate question I get quite a bit these days due to current low interest rate environment. But don’t confuse low rates with no rates. You’ll still earn interest on your money that you otherwise wouldn’t if you keep it in your checking account.
One plus I like about CIT Bank is that they actually encourage you to save by giving high depositors a better rate. Currently, you get a 0.15% bump if your daily balance is above $25,000. The increase isn’t earth shattering, but at least it’s not the other way around like some checking accounts where they penalize you for having more money!
So What’s the Verdict?
Rate hoppers will be happy that there is yet another option, because CIT Bank’s rates are currently right at the very top amongst the many different high yield savings options. For others who are tired of banks advertising a certain rate and then quickly changing it once you put money into the account, you’d also be happy to know that CIT Bank hasn’t been playing around with their rates since I learned of them many months ago. There’s no telling whether this practice will change, but at least the early signs are good.
Give them a shot if you are looking for someplace to park your hard earned savings.
CIT Bank is just one of the online banks we reviewed on MoneyNing.com. Click here for the complete list.